Jeff Fluhr of Craft Ventures joins Nick on a special Crisis Coverage installment to discuss Launching StubHub During the Dotcom Crash; Why Market Need Trumps Market Timing; Choosing B2B vs. B2C; and Why Founders Shouldn't Let VCs Decide Their Fate In this episode, we cover:
- Background and path to venture
- Thesis and focus at Craft
- So, you incorporated Stubhub in March 2000... just weeks before the dotcom bubble burst. Was there any hesitation or second thoughts as the tech world was collapsing around you?
- LESSON 1: IT’S ABOUT THE MARKET NEED, NOT THE MARKET TIMING
- You talk about the difference between market need and market timing. Can you explain what you mean by this point?
- How did you validate the market need, beyond just the experience of you and others you knew?
- LESSON 2: BE FLEXIBLE IN YOUR STRATEGY
- Often founders face this question of choosing B2B vs. B2C... can you talk us through the early days and StubHub and the how the strategy evolved?
- Do you think if you initially focused on the B2C segment when the crash just happened, results would’ve been different?
- What metrics were you optimizing for in the early days. While there were some successful marketplaces, like eBay, the playbook and range of metrics, I'm sure, were much less known and developed in the early 2000s vs. the resources we have to leverage today.
- LESSON 3: VCs DON’T DECIDE YOUR FATE
- Tell us about the Series A Raise -- did it go smoothly?
- When did you shift the model and begin engaging more B2B channels? Was that post-Series A, B? What guidance do you have for founders re. focusing on one and when to expand?
- What was it, do you think, that kept all the VCs from investing?
- LESSON 4 : DEPRESSION-ERA VALUES CAN BUILD A STRONG CULTURE
- What were the three values that were core to your DNA and culture -- that helped you survive and ultimately thrive?
- Has this shaped the way you evaluate companies, pre COVID and during?
- LESSON 5 : MANY THINGS ACTUALLY GET EASIER
- In what ways is it easier to build during a recession?
- If you were building another company right now, what’s one major thing you'd do differently?
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